Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 3, Issue 6
   July 2009
   What Is It?

What Is It?

James Burke, the noted science historian, co-produced a television series in 1978 called Connections. The program was reprised in 1994 and 1997, with a 25-year anniversary show in 2004.

This fascinating series dealt with how a particular discovery or instance created a thread of circumstances that produced a final product or result much different from the original concept. The chain of events as described sometimes took some large artistic steps in putting together the thread, but the main thrust was the exploration of technological change and how it affected each generation. The device in this particular newsletter "What Is It?" is a rather good working example of how circumstances create a need and the function and form follow.

By 1880, Thomas Edison had successfully created the commercial electric incandescent bulb and developed the first distribution power grid. Nikola Tesla then revolutionized electrical power transfer with his work in AC power generation, creating a dependable, stable and cheaper form of power than the DC systems already in widespread use.

The competition created a strong demand for electric lighting in private residences, which had previously consisted of a few small wind-powered, battery-backed installations, usually lighting just two or three 25-watt bulbs. With the advent of reliable, less expensive home electricity came the need to electrify homes, workplaces and, in some cases, large public areas previously illuminated by other means. With that availability of electric services, construction and renovation work had another discipline added to the list of existing trades.

Previous Page
Go to page:
Next Page
   Other Articles from this Issue
    What's New in Woodworking
Titan® Rail Connectors

Titan® Rail
Nail Pullers

Japanese Milled-Tooth Files

Milled-Tooth Files
Hose Clamp Kit

Clamp Kit
Drill-Press Table & Fence

Table & Fence
Crown Pro PM Turning Tools

Crown Pro PM
Turning Tools
Desks, Bookcases & Entertainment Centers

Bookcases &
Ent. Centers
Flex-shaft & Dust Extractor

Flex-shaft &
Dust Extractor
    News & Events  
     Lee Valley Seminars
  From the Collection
Featured Patents
From the Archive
Customer Letters
What Is It?
    Subscriber Services

Privacy Policy

Newsletter Archive